Jarrett Stidham’s first series as an NFL quarterback ended with an interception that was returned for a touchdown. It was hardly the start the 23-year-old rookie wanted.
Yet the 2019 fourth-round pick has persisted away from the spotlight, grinding out day after day in Patriots practice.
According to teammates, he’s making noticeable improvements. Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston recently reported how several Patriots have spoken positively about Stidham both on the field and as a presence on the team.
Safety Terrence Brooks said he was “excited” about the second-string quarterback.
“There have been a few throws that we see in practice where we’re like, ‘Damn, that was a nice one,'” said Brooks. “He’s getting better. That’s a good guy that’s coming to work every day and proving he belongs here. I’m excited about him, man.”
Brooks noted how working against a defense like New England’s can only lead to improvement.
“I feel like us as a defense is making him better, also,” added Brooks. “It’s pretty cool to see. We like that guy. He’s a good guy. Good locker room guy. Teammates love him. He’s doing his thing, man.”
Stidham has made noted contributions as a valued member of the Patriots’ scout team, mimicking opposing quarterbacks.
Fellow rookie Jakobi Meyers has noticed Stidham’s value on the scout team, but also explained how he’s looked strong when Tom Brady has missed practice.
“I know if we’re doing scout team or something, he makes some throws where it’s not really our offense and he’s just showing his arm off, he’s made some pretty crazy throws,” Meyers told Perry. “Even when he’s in our offense. When we’re actually in practice and Tom’s not going, he makes some pretty good throws then. I mean, he definitely has a lot of arm talent, and he shows it here and there.”
Stidham will have to be patient in New England for as long as the Brady era continues. But while he’s working against the Patriots’ defense in practice, the former Auburn quarterback is likely to continue adapting well to life in the NFL.